Can’t kiss a pig, despite the lipstick

Published 12:36 pm Saturday, August 27, 2016

I’ve been staying away from politics the last few weeks. I don’t want to just bash The Donald every week. But this week both Trump and Hillary are on the chopping block.

I support Hillary for president, but she has been disappointing. Between the resurgent email thing and the Clinton Foundation, Hillary has shown some terrible judgment. I used to think the private server was just paranoia because of all the baseless charges by the right wing attack machine since her time in Arkansas.

That plays a part, of course, but she also wants to keep everything hidden from public scrutiny.

As an old member of the Fourth Estate, I’m a firm advocate for governmental transparency, regardless of whether it’s local government, state, or federal. A good democracy needs transparency to work.

And folks have right to know what’s going on.

Hillary needs to put aside the paranoia, justified though it might be, and do the right thing for our democratic values.

And then there’s Donald Trump. Put aside for the moment his 6th grade penchant for calling people names, which shows he’s an immature bully. If you want to give people nicknames, take lessons from George W. Bush. He could come up with good nicknames without resorting to crass, juvenile insults.

He called Vladimir Putin, “Pootie-Poot.” That’s a hoot without being insulting or juvenile.

Trump, without even realizing it, has doubled down on insulting racism. Going to all white suburbs in front of all white audiences to call on African-American voters to join him and abandon the Democratic Party, because they all live in poverty and squalor.

Black voters are a strong, driving force within the Democratic Party, not just voters doing what they’re told. And why not face the people you claim to addressing?

Oh, wait. He is addressing his intended audience — white folks who want to vote for him but are afraid they’ll seem racist if they do. He’s trying to show them that he cares about all people of all races even though every word uttered by Trump before last week was clearly racist.

The new campaign team has put some pretty lipstick on that hog, but it still looks like a hog to me. So even though Hillary is not the best candidate in the world, I’m still not kissing that painted hog.

Trump’s ridicule of the Khan family, a Gold Star family that wanted to speak out against Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban was not only wrong, it was a personal offense against every family who has ever watched a son or daughter serve this country.

I still visualize Trump sitting in the penthouse at Trump Tower screaming, “Khan” into the firmament, like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk did when he learned his old enemy had killed his son.

Kirk’s primal scream was justified and understandable. Trump’s would be stupid because his “fight” with the Khans was and is stupid.

Come to think, Trump’s entire campaign has been nothing short of stupid.

Hillary’s not a great candidate, but Trump is a disaster. The damage he would do to this country, to the world, is incalculable. With Hillary you’ll have a president who will at least preserve and defend the Constitution and our way of life. With Trump, ol’ Pootie-Poot’s going to be running things.

KEITH HOGGARD is a staff writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at